Open fires to be allowed in Southeast Fire Centre

A decreased risk of wildfires leads to a lift of the ban on open fires in the East Kootenay

  • Sep. 20, 2013 3:00 p.m.

Townsman Staff

The Southeast Fire Centre has rescinded the open burning prohibition for the region starting at noon today, Friday, Sept. 20.

Karlie Shaughnessy, information officer at the Southeast Fire Centre, said the reason is a decreased risk of wildfires.

“Although open fires will be permitted throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, the Wildfire Management Branch is asking the public to remain vigilant with any fire use, including open burning and campfires,” Shaughnessy said. “Despite the recent cool and wet weather, the region’s fire danger rating could increase again.”

The fire centre encourages homeowners and industry personnel to take precautions with any outdoor burning activities. They suggest:

• Ensuring that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and to prevent it from escaping.

• Avoiding burning in windy conditions, as the weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.

• Creating a fireguard of at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.

• Rather than having a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and to help stop the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be extinguished before starting a new fire.

Shaughnessy noted there’s been 320 wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre so far this season, 46 of which were caused by people.